Mr. Penguin and the Lost Treasure

illus. by Alex T. Smith. 208p. Peachtree. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781682631201. POP
Gr 4–6—Though Mr. Penguin initially appears to be a typical black-and-white web-footed seabird, he is really an adventurer with a jaunty, broad-brimmed hat, and a talented sidekick, Colin. Colin, too, is much more than a simple, small spider. He writes notes and has a powerful Kung Fu kick. Mr. Penguin has been called on to help Miss Bones uncover hidden treasure needed to save the Museum of Extraordinary Things—all before the jewel-thieving O'Hoolihan brothers can execute their nefarious plans. On their way to their first big adventure at the museum, Mr. Penguin and Colin run into an old friend, Edith Hedge, and her pigeon named Gordon, who ultimately contribute to the twists and turns in the nonstop action and a satisfying, happy resolution. Slapstick humor and satire combine to create lots of laughs. Memorable, quirky characters are depicted in detailed, intricate illustrations that add to the over-the-top comedy.
VERDICT Fresh and funny, fans of the author's "Claude" series will be delighted to meet Mr. Penguin and companions in this new series opener, originally published in England.

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